Precarious Provisioning: Three Explorations of Food after Progress

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 Macquarie University
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Studying the socio-ecological systems which produce food highlights the entangled nature of humans, other species and ecosystems near and far. The three texts discussed in this essay have this awareness in the foreground. Participants in the solidarity economy and artisan cheesemakers know this, and the three authors do as well, demonstrating an integration of ecological awareness in their research and the pursuit of new knowledge. Cristina Grasseni, Heather Paxson and Anna Tsing trace connections and describe flows of organisms, food, skills and ideas, from the microbial community on the surface of a maturing cheese to global trade networks shaping mushrooms, mushroom pickers and forests. Each demonstrates the tight synergies of human culture and more-than-human nature that shape ecosystems and produce food beyond increasingly fragile capitalist industrial food production systems.

Contributor Notes

Patrick McEvoy is currently completing a master of research degree through the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, Sydney. His thesis project is investigating the political ecology of a rural wind farm. More broadly, he is interested in grassroots alternative political ecologies and community adaptation to climate change and resource scarcity. Address: Patrick McEvoy C/O Associate Professor Andrew McGregor, Department of Geography and Planning, Level 4, Building W3A, Macquarie University NSW 2109 E-mail:

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